Singapore’s Asian Cup dreams ended by Bahrain

Singapore’s hopes of qualifying for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup were finally ended on Tuesday by a 3-0 defeat at home to Bahrain.

Following a goalless first half at the National Stadium, Mahdi Abduljabbar broke the deadlock five minutes after the hour mark when he scored on the rebound after opposition keeper Hassan Sunny did well to keep out an initial attempt.

However, the hosts were always in with a chance of mounting a comeback until the 81st minute, when they were caught out at the back and were punished by Jamal Rashid with a close-range finish.

And just three minutes later, Bahrain sealed the win – along with their place at the Asian Cup – when more slack defending allowed Abduljabbar to net his second of the evening from inside the six-yard box.

The result guarantees Bahrain a top-two finish in Group E along with Turkmenistan, who also qualified with a 2-1 victory over Chinese Taipei earlier in the day.

Both sides are currently level on ten points and will meet next March in an outright duel for top spot.

Meanwhile, Singapore remain four points adrift of third-placed Chinese Taipei and are already resigned to a bottom finish even with a game remaining.

SINGAPORE: Hassan Sunny, Madhu Mohana, Irfan Fandi (Nazrul Nazari 58’), Hariss Harun, Daniel Bennett, Hafiz Abu Sujad, Shahdan Sulaiman, Zulfahmi Arifin (Khairul Amri 73’), Shawal Anuar (Faritz Hameed 14’), Faris Ramli, Safuwan Baharudin.

BAHRAIN: Sayed Hashem, Sayed Hasan, Abubaker Aadem, Waleed Al-Hayam, Ahmed Abdulla, Komail Hasan, Abdulwahab Al-Safi, Jamal Rashid, Abdulla Yaser (Ali Jaffar 62’), Sayed Dhiya (Hesham Nayem 90’), Madhi Abduljabbar (Sami Al-Husaini 85’).